Just a few items today. Don't know if I believe this: A Chinese driver managed to accumulate $55,000 in toll fees in 9 months time. [How? One wonders.] He's been sentenced to life in prison and $300,000 fine. China is very rough on scofflaws, apparently.
With North America shivering under one blizzard after another, the West coast dealing with mud slides and almost all of the province of Queensland in Australia under flood conditions, it's time those few doubters realize we're in a period of severe climate change. 2010 was the wettest year in recorded history -- or at least since Noah's time. It was the hottest since 1805 when temperatures began beingt recorded.
It may not seem so in Queensland, but actually 90% of the world's fresh water is trapped in ice in Antarctica. In that least hospitable continent, temperatures can drop as low as 97 degrees below freezing and winds can reach 200 miles per hour.
The most disturbing thing I came across this week was from an article in the January Vanity Fair about the testing of new drugs to prove their effectiveness is done abroad, often in poor countries and usually handled by private companies, not by the American drug manufacturers. Control of methods is not only lax but easily faked and likely to be not applicable to conditions in the US. This is only a hint of the extent of the problem. Anyone interested should read the article by clicking here. Why should we know about this? Well two of the world's biggest drug companies, Pfizer and Glaxo have both recently set aside literally billions of dollars in anticipation of paying legal fees to defend against suits stemming from the deaths many people who've died from drug side effects that were KNOWN to the drug companies who continued to sell their very expensive drugs despite knowing that they were doing as much harm as good. It's a very scary situation and being educated about it is your best protection.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!